This passage is substantially built of sentence fragments. It’s a typical Sinclair construction. What would Wood make of it? Would he choke on it? In How Fiction Works, he says, “But I choke on too much detail.” Is this description of the Thames Estuary too much? Do its nine sentence fragments restrict its meaning? Yes, it’s heavily visual. Does it fetishize detail or does it vigorously and vividly evoke a walk along an industrial river, put us squarely there with Sinclair as he searches for the London Stone? Wood’s view on sentence fragments raises interesting questions. I hope he elaborates on it in future pieces.
Other pleasures in this week’s issue: Bendik Kaltenborn’s "Thundercat" illustration for Matthew Trammell’s "Night Life: Rock Bottom"; Trammell’s “If Bruner’s lifelong craft as a bassist buries him in the low end, his voice beams goldenrod from a crack in the ceiling”; GOAT’s "Art: Mark Lyon" [“Lyon photographs landscapes in upstate New York while standing inside the bays of self-service car washes, boxlike spaces that supply the images with ready-made frames (graced by the occasional hose). The views—gas-station pumps, strip malls, a swatch of unnaturally green lawn—are transformed by Lyon’s keen eye. He works in daylight and darkness alike, regardless of weather, as fog, rain, and falling snow turn the everyday oddly magical”]; Jiayang Fan’s “The joy of Korean barbecue lies in part in its performance: watching ruby-red curls of brisket caramelize while translucent slices of Pringle-shaped tongue sizzle, crisp-edged and glinting” ("Tables For Two: Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong"); and Becky Cooper’s terrific "Bar Tab: Yours Sincerely," which I’m tempted to quote in full (it’s so damn good), but instead will simply highlight this superb detail: “The taps are porcelain doll heads, which stare like angelic witnesses to the evening’s festivities.” Check out the newyorker.com version of Cooper’s column; it features a wonderful Julia Rothman illustration.